Procurement is the act of finding, acquiring, buying goods, services or works from an external source, often via a tendering or competitive bidding process. Procurement activities are often split into two distinct categories, direct and indirect spend. Direct spend refers to production-related procurement that encompasses all items that are part of finished products, such as raw material, components and parts.

Procurement is one component of the broader concept of sourcing and acquisition. Typically, procurement is viewed as more tactical in nature (the process of physically buying a product or service) and sourcing and acquisition are viewed as more strategic and encompassing.